|A Total of $993,000 has been allocated in the proposed 2017 Budget for Forest Management and Tree Removal for these services. Based upon average historical actual services for tree removal, the lowest, most responsive bid would amount to $224,000 and the lowest bid for invasive vine removal would total $134,400. These amounts do not include emergency services, storm debris removal or additional cycles of vine removal which would be available through the contract and funded, if needed, within the allocated budget.
|Pursuant of Strategic Plan Focus Area Seven (7.3 Preserve and protect the natural forested areas in the community) and the Updated Integrated Forest Management Plan (IFMP) the Tree Removal and Invasive Species and Vine Removal Programs are on-going efforts to ensure a healthy community forest. For both projects, the Invitation for Bids (Attachment A) was advertised in The Woodlands Villager on August 11, 2016, on The Woodlands Township web site and was direct e-mailed to ten (10) contractors. A mandatory pre-bid was held with seven (7) contractors. Bids were due on September 2, 2016 and four (4) bids were submitted for the tree removal services and four (4) bids were submitted for the vine removal program ( Attachment B). One bid was submitted late and was disqualified and not reviewed. A Bid Tabulation Summary has been prepared summarizing the bids (Attachment C).
||The J Team
Tree Removal (Project A) - The majority of trees removed each year are performed by contracted services and the current contract with Top Cut expires December 31, 2016. The contracted service provides routine, priority and emergency removal of hazard trees that pose a potential risk to the public or Township facilities. The number of trees removed on Township property fluctuates from year to year due to several factors, including drought, storms, insects and disease. Attachment A- which is the bid packet provided to potential vendors indicates the number of trees removed over the past decade (Pages 13 and 14). This historical data and the updated IFMP is beneficial in forecasting future budgets and potential tree removal contract expenses. Included in this bid were specifications for debris clean up, limb removal, tree fertilization and emergency equipment. Overall, the Tree Removal program allows for the proper management of our Hazard Tree Removal Program, which is one initiative in the Integrated Forest Management Plan.
Based upon historical data of the number and size of trees removed, Top Cut has submitted the lowest most responsive bid. The Woodlands Township is familiar with the work of Top Cut as they were one of the contractors that assisted The Township in the removal of drought trees in 2011 and 2012 and were the primary tree removal contractor in 2005-2007 and is the current contractor. The additional or as needed services would be added to this and the vine removal agreement so that The Township can take advantage of the lowest prices and have a secondary contractor for these services, if required.
Vine Removal (Project B)- The Woodlands is a series of small woodlots or buffer strips of trees; however this contributes to the “edge effect” which promotes invader species to take over the native species. Removal is necessary for natural forest regeneration to occur. This is an on-going program (13+ years) which aims to promote a healthy and vibrant forest through sound forest management practices. The most recent contract with Top Cut is set to expire on December 31, 2016.
The Request for Bids was developed on unit cost basis to remove invasive vines and Chinese tallow trees in designated areas through the community. The proposed contract for services shall be for thirty-six (36) consecutive months, with approximately 240 days of invasive vine removal work being done annually utilizing the selected vendor. The 240 days is a 120 day increase from previous years as was directed by the Board to address concerns about streetscape maintenance. Based upon historical data, the J team has submitted the lowest most responsive bid. Staff has reviewed the J Team’s references, statement of qualifications and have spoken to them about the scope of services and expectations of the contract and have no concerns at this time,